What is open access? Open Access (OA) stands for unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse of scholarly materials. Here’s why that matters. Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their research and professional journals. Anyone who wants to access the articles must pay a fee. Anyone who wants to re-publish the findingsis required to obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee. However, much of this scientific and scholarly research is publicly funded through government research grants. Therefore, open access advocates argue that publicly funded research should be freely accessible to the public . Publishers should not be given exclusive ownership rights to research knowledge or be allowed to create a financial obstacle to public dissemination of this knowledge through charging fees. Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen of PHD Comics take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it’s all about.
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